Local National Parks Benefit our Economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2015 shows the economic benefit of Channel Islands National Park and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to our local economy in supporting 761 jobs with a cumulative benefit to the local economy of nearly 74 million dollars.

324,815 visitors to Channel Islands National Park in 2015 spent over $19 million and 797,217 visitors to the federal land in Santa Monica National Recreation Area spent over $34 million in communities near the parks.

“The NPS has a presence in every community in the United States including ours,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

“The scenic vistas of the Santa Monica Mountains inspire thousands of people to visit each week,” said David Szymanski, superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “We are delighted that so many visitors enjoy our park and also that their visits have such a positive impact on the local economy.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.

The report shows $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by- year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in California and how the National Park Service works with California communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/california.

Print Friendly